Treasury Is Modernizing America’s Money


So much for “a pocket full of dead presidents.”

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced today that is modernizing America’s money. Introducing The New $20, $10, And $5!

The Treasury Department will create new design concepts for the $20, $10, and $5 dollar notes.

The front of the new $20 will feature the portrait of Harriet Tubman, whose life was dedicated to fighting for liberty.

Harriet Tubman was born into slavery. After she escaped, she became a conductor on the Underground Railroad, helping slaves escape to freedom.

During the Civil War, she was active in the Union cause, serving as a nurse, a cook, and a scout, gathering intelligence.

Looking back on her life, Harriet Tubman said, “I would fight for liberty so long as my strength lasted.” After the war, she supported the cause of women’s suffrage and was active in suffragist organizations. She died in 1913 and was buried with military honors.

Photo Credit: Ohio History Connection (OHC), dated circa 1887 by H.G. Smith, Studio Building, Boston.

The reverse of the new $20 will display The White House and an image of President Andrew Jackson.

Photograph of Andrew Jackson statue in Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C. Photo Credit: Chris Taylor, Department of the Treasury.

The new $10 will celebrate the history of the women’s suffrage movement, and feature images of Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Paul, alongside the Treasury building.

Treasury’s relationship with the suffrage movement dates to the Women’s Suffrage Parade of 1913 when thousands marched down Pennsylvania Avenue from the U.S. Capitol to the Treasury Department in Washington, DC. On the steps of the Treasury Building, the marchers demanded an amendment to the Constitution enfranchising women. The new $10 will honor the 1913 march and the leaders of the suffrage movement—Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott—who were instrumental in the passage of the 19th Amendment.


Photograph taken in front of the Treasury Building at the Woman Suffrage Parade in Washington, DC, March 3, 1913. Photo Credit: Library of Congress.

The front of the $10 will continue to feature Alexander Hamilton, our nation’s first Treasury Secretary and the architect of our economic system.


The new $5 will honor historic events that occurred at the Lincoln Memorial in service of our democracy, and will feature Martin Luther King, Jr., Marian Anderson, and Eleanor Roosevelt (on the reverse side).

In the Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln called for a “new birth of freedom,” urging Americans to do their part to complete, the “unfinished work” ahead.

The Lincoln Memorial has long served as a place where people gathered to complete that unfinished work.

In 1939—at a time when concert halls were still segregated—world renowned Opera singer Marian Anderson helped advance civil rights when, with the support of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, she performed at the Lincoln Memorial in front of 75,000 people.

Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson sings at the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939.

And in 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech at the same monument in front of hundreds of thousands.

The front of the new $5 will retain the portrait of President Lincoln.


Steve Benen adds at the Maddow blog:

The New York Timesreport added, “The new designs, from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, would be made public in 2020 in time for the centennial of woman’s suffrage and the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. None of the bills, including a new $5 note, would reach circulation until the next decade.”

Oh. So, the good news is, Treasury officials have made some excellent decisions about who to honor and how. The bad news is, we won’t get our hands on the new bills until around 2030 or so.


  1. I would like to see my personel hero John Brown on the back of the twenty not the evil jackson. By the way Harriet Tubman had to be physically restrained from going with John Brown to free the slaves in 1859.

  2. What a mishmash of subjects…and with the possible exception of Martin Luther King, vistually no one will know who is on the money they are holding or what the significance of it might be. But the money will be politically correct. What magic do they have planned for the $50 and $100 bills, I wonder? I would suggest gay pride parades and Hillary and Bill. I will grant you Bill and Hillary are white, but they are the right kind of white…

    • There it is.

      I was starting to think you were one of those paid posters PR firms hire, a dissenting but possibly reasonable voice that you could have a serious discussion with, agree to disagree with.

      But a comment that openly bigoted informs the reader otherwise.

      Also, talk about the mish-mash calling the kettle black!

      • Oh, please, don’t start with the racist tripe! That is the easy answer that rarely ever addresses the issue.

        The comment was not bigoted. You say history teaches us, right? Then search your history about U.S. currency. We have been down this road before. Before we put Presidents on our currency, lesser known historical figures, groups of figures, allegorical figures, etc., were the order of the day. There were never ending complaints to the treasury about how confusing these unknowns were. Of course, at that time, the Treasury issued relatively few currency notes, but they took heed of the complaints and when the time came for a National Currency, they went with subjects most American knew: The Presidents. Those Presidents have remained on our currency to this day.

        As to my statement that most people won’t know the new faces and groups of people on the currency, open your mind and realize that, while YOU may know who they are and I may know who they are, the majority of Americans do not. Ask the people in your office if they know who Harriet Tubman is. Or Sojourner Truth, Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony, or Elizabeth Cady Stanton. They WILL know who Martin Luther King is, but for most, he will be it.

        So put away you “RACIST” rubber stamp and actually READ what is written. As to my being paid to write this, I only wish it was so. As it is I just enjoy doing it.

  3. Good news, but by 2030 no one will be using paper money.

    I can’t imagine being black or Native American and seeing pictures of slave owners and mass murderers on our currency.

    Even the buildings on paper money were built with slave labor.

    I love my country, I want it to be better. We should have those lady dollars out yesterday and overhaul everything else.

    • “I can’t imagine being black or Native American and seeing pictures of slave owners and mass murderers on our currency.”

      Do you really sit and worry about such things? Do you think blacks and native americans sit and worry about such things? I would say you are blessed if you have so little in life to concern you that you worry about such minor issues.

      • I think that history informs our world, Steve.

        As far as do blacks and Native Americans sitting and worrying about such things, no, they don’t cringe overtime they spend a dollar and see George. I think they worry more about getting pulled over for some minor traffic infraction and being shot.

        And how blessed are you, that you can sit in front of your little computer and remind others how blessed they are.

        • History does, indeed, inform our world. The problem is that some people see only the bad history and ignore the good history. From the little I have read of your postings, you seem to be one of those people. I find that sad because there is a richness of both good and bad in United States history and seeking out only the bad means you are missing the fullness of it.

          As to minorities living in fear of being shot by Police, that is – to a great extent – something created by media hysteria. There is a very good comedy skit made by a black comedian that is entitled “What NOT to do when stopped by the Police”. It is a tongue in cheek video, but it is very serious in its presentation. It states the obvious such as “Don’t be belligerent”, “Don’t challenge the Police Officer”, “Don’t threaten the Police Officer”, “Don’t grab at the Police Officer”, “Do what the Police Officer says”, etc. Just common sense things. I have often suggested to people on this blog that they should go along with their local Police on “ride alongs”. It is easy to do, and I guarantee if you do it a few times, your opinion of Police Officers will change when you see what they face every day.

          I am very blessed to have been born an American and I thank God every day for that privilege. I was honored to serve a long and interesting career in the Army, had tremendous opportunities for education, have a wonderful family life, and after retiring from the Army I founded a very successful Company that provides employment and benefits to more than 200 people. Yes I am blessed because I took risks and advantage of the almost unlimited opportunities made available to Americans if they reach for them.

          • The problem with that video about how black people need to behave when dealing with the police is that nearly every suggestion, other than don’t threaten or grab at, goes against the constitution.

            When a cop pulls you over, you’re not required to say or do jack squat. We do not live in a police state.

            I suggest you actually read the US Constitution.

            The bad things that America has done in her past were done by people, bad things are still going on, and we teach our children that even great men like Jefferson (a personal hero of mine, flaws and all) were not perfect, so they are not fooled by today’s leaders.

            Do you teach your children that Obama is POTUS so respect him and the office? I bet you teach them the opposite.

            Now I’m an old white guy and I’m enjoying a good standard of living and because I know what is possible I want everyone to have the same opportunities.

            I love my country and I want her to live up to her ideals.

            Save your sadness, sport, it’s just weird.

          • I have read the Constitution so many times, Not Tom, and never once did I think to myself that it provided guidance on how to conduct my social life or how I deal with other people. It is NOT an etiquette guide teaching us how to get along with each other, it is the codification of our National Law. In other words it has nothing to do with how to get along with a Police Officer when you are stopped. What that video does is provide guidance on how to make contact with the police an uneventful encounter. As you suggest, when you are pulled over by the Police, you can be a belligerent ass, and you will reap what you sew. The law gives Police Officers wide ranging authority. He or she can not issue a warning, issue a citation, or – if warranted – slap you in hand cuffs and take you to jail. Do you think your Constitutional right to be a flaming asshole serves you well when dealing with the police…or ANYONE for that matter?

            I have always taught my children that the office of the President deserves respect. The person holding that office deserves your courtesy and respect even if you don’t care for him. When I met Obama at the White House, I practiced what I preach and was courteous and respectful. Of course the Constitution doesn’t say I had to be that way. ;o)

            I disagree that you want the United States to live up to its ideals. What you want is for the United States to wallow in guilt for the crimes and sins committed in the past. You want to wear the proverbial sack cloth and ashes to beg forgiveness to all who were harmed by the growth and history of this Nation. You suffer from a common malady known as “White Guilt” and you can’t assuage it. And that IS sad. Truly sad…

          • You’re right, the constitution does not instruct you or I on how to behave.

            But it does instruct law enforcement.

            That you do not know this is why I question your knowledge of the document.

            Thanks for the debate, sorry about making you sad.

          • Do you really think the law is that black and white? The truth is that most times when they come into contact with the public, Police Officers are given a great deal of leeway when it comes to enforcing much of the law. On many things, they can either issue a warning, issue a summons or place you under arrest. Which makes me question your knowledge of human nature. When you encourage people to be as belligerent as possible because Police Officers are limited by the law, do you really know what you are talking about? Do you really think that is good advice? And why such hatred towards the police? Have you had too many belligerent run-ins with them?

            Don’t worry about my being sad for you…I will survive. But I do feel a little more sorrow for you that you have reached this point in life and not learned some basic lessons; among them that you still think it is a good idea to be obnoxious towards Police Officers when you encounter them. That is neither an effective nor a smart way to get through life.

          • I don’t recall encouraging anyone to be belligerent, but don’t let that stop you from making up a good story.

            Seriously, Steve, I can debate with someone all day long and still go have a beer with them at the end of the day.

            Let’s bury this one. Happy Friday. Cheers.

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